On November 08, 2016, Arkansas passed the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment measure, after 53.2% voters voted in favor of the constitutional amendment, thereby effectively legalizing the medical use of marijuana by qualified patients with a physician’s recommendation certification.
As per the Amendment, qualified patients may lawfully possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis, per 14 day period.
The Department of Health and the Alcohol Beverage Control Division is appointed as administrator of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program (AMMP).
As of June 2017, the Arkansas Department of Health is accepting applications for medical marijuana registry identification cards through their online application system.
THE ARKANSAS MEDICAL MARIJUANA AMENDMENT OF 2016
AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION MAKING THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA LEGAL UNDER ARKANSAS STATE LAW, BUT ACKNOWLEDGING THA T MARIJUANA USE, POSSESSION, AND DISTRIBUTION FOR ANY PURPOSE REMAIN ILLEGAL UNDER FEDERAL LAW; ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM FOR THE CULTIVATION, ACQUISITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF MARIJUANA FOR QUALIFYING P A TIENTS THROUGH LICENSED MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES AND CULTIVATION FACILITIES AND GRANTING THOSE DISPENSARIES AND FACILITIES LIMITED IMMUNITY; PROVIDING THAT QUALIFYING PATIENTS, AS WELL AS DISPENSARY AND CULTIVATION FACILITY AGENTS SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL OR CIVIL PENALTIES OR OTHER FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION FOR ENGAGING IN OR ASSISTING WITH THE PATIENTS’ MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA; REQUIRING THAT IN ORDER TO BECOME A QUALIFYING PATIENT, A PERSON SUBMIT TO THE STATE A WRITTEN CERTIFICATION FROM A PHYSICIAN LICENSED IN THE STATE OF ARKANSAS THAT HE OR SHE IS SUFFERING FROM A QUALIFYING MEDICAL CONDITION; ESTABLISHING AN INITIAL LIST OF QUALIFYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS; DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO ESTABLISH RULES RELATED TO THE PROCESSING OF APPLICATIONS FOR REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARDS AND THE ADDITION OF QUALIFYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS IF SUCH ADDITIONS WILL ENABLE PATIENTS TO DERIVE THERAPEUTIC BENEFIT FROM THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA; DIRECTING THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL DIVISION TO ESTABLISH RULES RELATED TO THE OPERATIONS OF DISPENSARIES AND CUL TIV A TION F ACILITIES; EST ABLISHING A MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION OF 5 MEMBERS, 2 APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE, 2 APPOINTED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND 1 BY THE GOVERNOR; PROVIDING THA T THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION SHALL ADMINISTER AND REGULA TE THE LICENSING OF DISPENSARIES AND CULTIVATION FACILITIES; PROVIDING THAT THERE SHALL BE AT LEAST 20 BUT NOT MORE THAN 40 DISPENSARY LICENSES ISSUED AND THAT THERE SHALL BE AT LEAST 4 BUT NOT MORE THAN 8 CULTIVATION F ACILITIY LICENSES ISSUED; SETTING INITIAL MAXIMUM APPLICA TION FEES FOR DISPENSARIES AND CUL TIV A TION FACILITIES; ESTABLISHING ,QUALIFICATIONS FOR REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARDS; ESTABLISHING STANDARDS TO ENSURE THA T QUALIFYING P A TIENT REGISTRA TION INFORMA TION IS TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL; DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO PROVIDE THE LEGISLATURE ANNUAL QUANTIT A TIVE REPORTS ABOUT THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM; SETTING CERTAIN LIMITATIONS ON THE USE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA BY QUALIFYING P A TIENTS; ESTABLISHING AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE FOR THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA; EST ABLISHING REGISTRA TION AND OPERA TION REQUIREMENTS FOR DISPENSARIES AND CULTIVATION FACILITES; SETTING LIMITS ON THE AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA A DISPENSARY MAY CULTIVATE AND THE AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA A DISPENSARY MAY DISPENSE TO A QUALIFYING P A TIENT; PROVIDING THA T THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION SHALL DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA A CUL TIV A TION F ACILITY MA Y CUL TIV A TE; PROHIBITING CERTAIN CONDUCT BY AND IMPOSING CERTAIN CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS ON PHYSICIANS, DISPENSARIES, DISPENSARY AND CULTIVATION FACILITY AGENTS, AND QUALIFYING P A TIENTS; EST ABLISHING A LIST OF FELONY OFFENSES WHICH PRECLUDE CERTAIN TYPES OF PARTICIPATION IN THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM; PROVIDING THAT THE SALE OF USABLE MARIJUANA IS SUBJECT TO ALL STATE AND LOCAL SALES TAXES; AND PROVIDING THAT THE STATE SALES TAX REVENUE SHALL BE DISTRIBUTED 5% TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, 2% TO THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL ADMINISTRATION DIVISION, 2% TO THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL ENFORCEMENT DIVISION; 1% TO THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION; 10% TO THE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT FUND; 50% TO THE VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL TRAINING SPECIAL REVENUE FUND AND 30% TO THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND; PERMITTING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BY TWO-THIRDS VOTE TO AMEND SECTIONS OF THE AMENDMENT EXCEPT THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBL Y MA Y NOT AMEND THE SECTIONS LEGALIZING THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA AND SETTING THE NUMBER OF DISPENSARIES OR CULTIVATION FACILITIES ALLOWED.
SECTION 1. The following is added as an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution:
§ 1. Short title.
This amendment shall be known and cited as the “Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016”
§ 2. Definitions.
As used in this amendment:
(1) “Acquire” or “acquisition” means coming to possess marijuana by means of any legal source herein authorized, not from an unauthorized source, and in accordance with this amendment and any rules promulgated under this amendment;
(2) “Assist” or “assisting” means helping a qualifying patient make medical use of marijuana by enabling the medical use by any means authorized under this amendment;
(3) “Cardholder” means a qualifying patient, a dispensary agent, a cultivation facility agent, or a designated caregiver;
(4) “Cultivation facility” means an entity that:
Has been licensed by the Medical Marijuana Commission under § 8 of this amendment; and
Cultivates, prepares, manufactures, processes, packages, sells to and delivers usable marijuana to a dispensary; facility who: amendment;
(5) “Cultivation facility agent” means an employee, supervisor, or agent of a cultivation:
21+ years of age
works at the cultivation facility; and
has registered with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division under § 9 of this
(6) “Designated caregiver” means a person who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age, has not been convicted of an excluded felony offense, has agreed to assist a physically disabled qualifying patient with the medical use of marijuana, and who has registered with the Department of Health under § 5 of this amendment.
“Designated caregiver” includes without limitation a parent:
Of a qualifying patient who is under the age of eighteen (18); and (ii) Required to register as a designated caregiver under this amendment;
(7) “Dispensary” means an entity that has been licensed by the Medical Marijuana Commission under § 8 of this amendment;
(8) “Dispensary agent” means:
An employee, supervisor, volunteer, or agent of a dispensary who:
twenty-one (21) years of age or older
works at the dispensary; and has registered with the division under § 9 of this amendment; and
an owner, officer, or board member of a dispensary who has registered with the division under § 8 of this amendment;
(9) “Enclosed, locked facility” means a room, greenhouse, or other enclosed area equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access only by an authorized individual;
(10) “Excluded felony offense” means: (A)(i) A felony involving violence.
(ii) However, an offense that has been sealed by a court or for which a pardon has been granted is not considered an excluded felony offense; or
(B) A violation of a state or federal controlled substance law that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted, but not including:
(i) An offense for which the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration, or supervised release, was completed ten (10) or more years earlier; or
(ii) An offense that has been sealed by a court or for which a pardon has been granted;
(11) “Medical use” means the acquisition, possession, use, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marijuana to treat or alleviate a qualifying patient’s qualifying medical condition or symptoms associated with the qualifying patient’s qualifying medical condition;
(12) “Physician” means a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine who holds a valid, unrestricted, and existing license to practice in the state of Arkansas and has been issued a registration from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe controlled substances;
(13) “Qualifying medical condition” means one (1) or more of the following: (A) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS), Tourette’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe arthritis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease, or the treatment of these conditions;
(B) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one (1) or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; peripheral neuropathy; intractable pain, which is pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment, or surgical measures for more than six (6) months; severe nausea; seizures, including without limitation those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including without limitation those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; and
(C) Any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the Department of Health under § 4 of this amendment;
(14) “Qualifying patient” means a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a qualifying medical condition and who has registered with the department under § 5 of this amendment;
(15) “Registry identification card” means a document issued by the department or the division that identifies a person as a qualifying patient, a dispensary agent, a cultivation facility agent, or a designated caregiver;
(16) “Sealed” means to expunge, remove, sequester, and treat as confidential the record or records of a felony offense;
(17)(A) “Usable marijuana” means the stalks, seeds, roots, dried leaves, flowers, oils, vapors, waxes, and other portions of the marijuana plant and any mixture or preparation thereof.
(B) “Usable marijuana” does not include the weight of any ingredients other than marijuana that are combined with marijuana and prepared for consumption as food or drink;
(18) “Visiting qualifying patient” means a patient with a qualifying medical condition who is not a resident of Arkansas or who has been a resident of Arkansas for less than thirty (30) days and who is in actual possession of a registry identification card or its equivalent that is issued under the laws of another state, district, territory, commonwealth, or insular possession of the United States and pertains to a qualifying medical condition under this section; and
(19)(A) “Written certification” means a document signed by a physician stating that in the physician’s professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the qualifying patient’s medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a physician-patient relationship, the qualifying patient has a qualifying medical condition and the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for- the qualifying patient.
(B) A written certification shall specify the qualifying patient’s qualifying medical condition, which also shall be noted in the qualifying patient’s medical records.